Paperwork – Pandemonium or Peace 
So, how does it feel? Have you cleared the piles from around the house, cleared out your handbags? Can you see your dining table for the first time in months? Are you actually using your breakfast bar to eat breakfast at?
Well, maybe not yet but over the next few weeks we will get there.
Have you burned or shredded all that paperwork that you didn’t need? Doesn’t it feel great? Did you find loads of pieces of paper that made you say “what is this?” or “Why did I think I would need this?” I am always amazed at what I put to one side “just in case” I need it at a future date. I mean, seriously, why would I need a leaflet for the local fishing tackle shop when no one in my house fishes.
So, this week, working on the same 15 minutes per day premise, lets get to work on that “to do” pile.
The To Do Pile
To help work through this pile, we have created a download for you to use.
- So, print this off (or grab your own “to do” book), grab your diary (if you don’t have one, either use your phone or you can print off free diary inserts). Also, grab your list of contact numbers from last week and you can update that as you go along.
- Go through the paperwork and make a note of what you need to do – phone, email, form, add to diary, etc. Also choose three items for a pile called “Eat That Frog”**
You should now have a list of everything you need to do and what it is. What next?
- Anything that just needs to go in your dairy, add it and then add those items to your “file” pile.
**Eat That Frog:
At the bottom of our To Do download is a section called “Eat that frog”. These are the items you keep putting off. A DLA renewal form or a phone call that you think will be stressful. We all have these on our list. They are the ones that you continually work around and just add to the next to do list you produce. So add those items to the Eat the Frog pile and at the bottom of our download. There may be more than three but choose the three biggies, the ones that play on your mind the most.
Have a look at your Eat that frog list. Aim to clear at least one “eat that frog” from your list this week. Always aim to do it as the first job on a morning and get it out of the way. The rest of the day will be a breeze; you will feel like a burden has been lifted. Even if the frog was as awful to eat as you expected, the feeling of having done it and having it out of the way is immensely satisfying.
How to work through a To do List
- Look through the lists, what can you do without having to find paperwork to go with it? Perhaps a phone call to re-schedule an appointment or a phone call to chase up an appointment? An email? Anything that can be done without you having to find another piece of paperwork, highlight or put an X and then guess what? Do it.
- Have a look at the others – have you seen the paperwork you need as you sorted through the piles last week? Grab it now and guess what, yes you’ve got it – do it!
- Each day start with a look at your to do list, and 3-2-1 it! Choose 3 things that you have to do today (including one Frog) – Important and Urgent; choose 2 things it would help if you got done today (but it won’t hurt if it gets done tomorrow) – important but not urgent and finally choose 1 thing you would like to do today (but it wouldn’t matter if it got done next month) – not important and not urgent.
Other ideas for getting organised?
If you are looking for a way to have a to do list that you actually do – oh yes, we all have those lovely lists that we have set up but never done anything with, or the list we have on a phone app that we swore would be the one that made us more organised – so if you are like the rest of us, then try Bullet Journal. This is a very popular method and there are groups on Facebook and online Forums all about how people use it. It’s simple, you just need a notebook and it works well for many people.
If you are perhaps a lover of post-it notes, then there are a few blogs with tips on using these to become more organised – Jen Hewett’s guide to managing it all, One good Thing by Jillee and one of my personal favourites, the Online Millionaire – Post it Ninja
Now try to contain your excitement because next week we will look at filing systems. There are many different methods so we will look at a few so you can decide which bits out of each method work for you.
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Mum to three great kids, each with a different SEN.
Transplanted from the NW to the SE.
Co-founder and Director of Bringing Us Together